Connect Images (HDR) Tool Feature?

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Koyaanis
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Connect Images (HDR) Tool Feature?

Post by Koyaanis » Sat 08 Sep 2007 21:09

Depending on the subject, and the luminosity levels of the images used with the Connect Images tool, sometimes the blending comes out terrible. Especially when trying to combine 3 images. I get many areas where the colors become completely washed out.

It is tedious trying to go back to the source images and guessing at what levels they need to try to get them to blend well in the Connect Images tool.

Would there be a way to incorporate some adjustment slider on the Connect Images tool to choose which levels from each image will be blended into the final image? By either having an adjustment slider on each thumbnail, or a single one that would be effective on whichever thumbnail is highlighted. Having an adjustment slider on each thumb would be easier to see where each one is set to. Even better is if each thumb could have an optional mask overlay on it to show which tonal areas from it are being used in the final image.

I don't have a lot of experience with HDR images, but I presume that the luminosity ranges from each image are being selected automatically in "Connect Images". I'm looking for a way to override or have some ability to choose where those ranges from each image overlap.

What would be really nice too, is if I could easily align images right in that Connect Images panel. By using either: some automated method, selecting control-points on each image, or at least having a way to rotate and reposition each image. For now I just use a freeware HDR Alignment Tool that I get from http://www.flickr.com/groups/hdr/discus ... 229411664/ But this requires aligning all my HDR image-sets/groups before even loading them into PhotoLine.

Thanks if you take these ideas into consideration.

If someone can explain this more simply so that Gerhard can understand it easier, please do so. He has trouble with my overly verbose english, but I know of no other way to say it more simply. :-)

p.s. Gerhard, on your new beta Test Strip function, may I request just one more option? On the "Work" drop-down menu, can you put "Saturation" on there along with Luminosity and Contrast? That would cover *every* possibility then. :-)

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Gerhard Huber
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Re: Connect Images (HDR) Tool Feature?

Post by Gerhard Huber » Mon 10 Sep 2007 07:10

Koyaanis wrote:Depending on the subject, and the luminosity levels of the images used with the Connect Images tool, sometimes the blending comes out terrible. Especially when trying to combine 3 images. I get many areas where the colors become completely washed out...
I don't think that it is necessary to have an additional control per Image to manipulate the automatic connection of the image. All images I tested here worked fine with the automatic way.
If you have images that don't work fine, please send it to me. I am interested in it.
If you want to have full control for the connection, don't use the full automatic way but search for a photohop tutorial how to do it manually. It will work fine with PL32.
Koyaanis wrote:What would be really nice too, is if I could easily align images right in that Connect Images panel. By using either: some automated method, selecting control-points on each image, or at least having a way to rotate and reposition each image. For now I just use a freeware HDR Alignment Tool that I get from http://www.flickr.com/groups/hdr/discus ... 229411664/ But this requires aligning all my HDR image-sets/groups before even loading them into PhotoLine.
I would prefer to have an alignment function, too. But I don't know how to make a good user interface for it. I don't want to insert a confusing part that can't be used by anybody. But I have no idea for a good way.

Gerhard

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Koyaanis
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Post by Koyaanis » Tue 11 Sep 2007 00:30

Thanks for the reply Gerhard. I sent some photos to you in e-mail. I hope they show the problem clear enough.

I also included an idea for a simple (but possibly tedious) alignment method. I hope I didn't use too many confusing english words again!

:-)

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Post by greenmorpher » Tue 11 Sep 2007 03:39

I had missed this feature so far, possibly because of the name of it. (It is a capability that is well worth trumpeting, Gerhard! Adobe made a big thing of this when it aded it to Photoshop.)

Anyway, having seen Koyaanis' post, I thought I might go out and take a few high contrast pictures yesterday to test it.

Wouldn't you know it! After two weeks of quite unseasonable sunny, dry weather, the moment I got clear of the morning's work and stepped out of the door with the camera, clouds appeared in every part of the sky and the whole scene was rendered a kind of gray with some pastel tints and about three steps in the contrast scale!

I’m going to keep doing it! We need the rain badly!

Back to theme, though, this is a great tool provided it works correctly.

Regarding the name for this item, "Integrate Images" exactly describes its function in Egnlish. "Connect" could be anything -- I am connecvted to tyhis forum by the internet. "Connect" could mean (and I took it to mean) that the pictures were linked in some way. But "integrate" means they are actually put together to become one, which is what happens.

I'm really looking forward to the next sunny day so I can get some high contrast pix and try this out.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Koyaanis
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Post by Koyaanis » Tue 11 Sep 2007 07:08

I agree that "Integrate Images" or even "Integrate for HDR" would be a better menu name in english, to make it more easily understood and visible.

But I have to admit, with some of the minor translation oddities in PL32, I sort of like it this way. For lack of a better word this is what gives PL32 some of its "charm".

I'll be playing around in some menu or tool I hadn't noticed before, testing things out, and suddenly I realize "Wow! Look what this program has! WAY COOL!" It's like getting a new gift that you weren't expecting, at the oddest times.

There's so many depths and features to this program that even after 2 years of constant use I haven't explored nor used them all. Ask me how to use the SWF (flash) animation tools and I wouldn't have a clue, as just one example of things I've yet to explore. Another surprise discovery (for me not that long ago), just double-click on any texture to call up the texture palette. Select one, then click on the "Change" button, then look at all the amazing options on that "Texture" tab. How many of you newer users ever knew that that very complex and complete texture editor (noise & fractal textures with a host of math functions) was in there all this time? I found that about 6 months ago. And I keep finding things like that buried in places, just a few mouse-clicks away, sometimes on a right-click, sometimes a double-click.

So, yes, a better english name might be nice for some important tools ... but I kind of like surprises. I also get this kid-like sense of being someone in a secret-society with secret mouse-click-handshakes that knows of, and knows how to use, an editor much much better than PhotoShop. (Shhh, don't tell anyone. Or they'll all want to join! :-) ) "But that door says to go to the pantry! Let's not go there." When really it leads to a secret laboratory full of wonderful things, and only those adventurous spirits that are willing to try new things will ever discover that.

It's like all the secret passages contained in Hogwarts School of Magic castle from the Harry Potter series. Only the experienced students can find them all. :-)

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Gerhard Huber
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Post by Gerhard Huber » Tue 11 Sep 2007 07:21

Koyaanis wrote:I agree that "Integrate Images" or even "Integrate for HDR" would be a better menu name in english, to make it more easily understood and visible.
When we first build this function, just before Adobe, there was no "clear" name for the function. There where just other words like DRI and so on. Since HDR is now "State of the Art", we will change the name to "Create HDR-Imge" in the next version. Is this OK?

Gerhard

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Koyaanis
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Post by Koyaanis » Tue 11 Sep 2007 07:39

"Create HDR-Image" should be just fine. Since HDR has become so widely used and understood by so many now (for high-dynamic range). Though I did like greenmorpher's "Integrate" suggestion because it was much more descriptive of what was going to happen. "Create" works just as good too, I think.

It's odd how some names or phrases catch-on to the general public and others don't. Take for example the term "P&S Camera" for Point and Shoot. People now use that to describe any camera that is not a DSLR. But a DSLR today is more of a P&S camera with all its automatic functions than even many P&S camera are. Sometimes even the most popular terms (like P&S camera) don't make a lick of sense. :-) But we get stuck with using them. There's about 100 other popular english phrases or names for things that bug the heck out of me, because they are so wrong, but I have to use them or I am the one who is not understood. Sometimes I just refuse to use the popular term and use the more correct one anyway, and then let them try to figure out why I used it. :-)

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Post by Hoogo » Tue 11 Sep 2007 07:54

Afaik HDR is more of a 32bit-floating point-fileformat, maybe even with well definded brightness. Something like 8bit-rgb or 16bit-rgb, but with an exact definition of the brightness (measured in candela) of a value of 1000, but I may be wrong about that. I think HDR is common in rendering-programs for quite a while.

Sometimes clicking while holding shift gives some more options.
In the picture-viewer you can hold shift while switching between pictures to keep the zoom-factor. In the filter-previews you can hold shift when clicking on the extreme-color-button.

And I found that you can use color-blends quite often where a dialogue asks for a color, for example for vectors, or effect>effect>3D-shadow...

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Post by greenmorpher » Tue 11 Sep 2007 12:01

Gerhard Huber wrote:
Koyaanis wrote:I agree that "Integrate Images" or even "Integrate for HDR" would be a better menu name in english, to make it more easily understood and visible.
When we first build this function, just before Adobe, there was no "clear" name for the function. There where just other words like DRI and so on. Since HDR is now "State of the Art", we will change the name to "Create HDR-Imge" in the next version. Is this OK?
Damn! Now I'll have to remember what HDR means! Yep, that will be fine, thanks, Gerhard.

Now, let's get to work on those other terms and interface elements we talked about some time ago ... 8-)

But I must rush off now and tell the troops that PL32 had HDR before P'shop.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by Koyaanis » Tue 11 Sep 2007 16:36

Hoogo wrote:Afaik HDR is more of a 32bit-floating point-fileformat, maybe even with well definded brightness. Something like 8bit-rgb or 16bit-rgb, but with an exact definition of the brightness (measured in candela) of a value of 1000, but I may be wrong about that. I think HDR is common in rendering-programs for quite a while.
Yes, that is another risk of confusion that many don't like about the term HDR for these types of images. It makes me want to side more with using the word "integrate". You don't integrate to make a floating point HDR file format, but you do "create" a floating point HDR image, as in saving one in an .HDR format (to create it). I think the problem is that we are drowning in, and have used up, all 3-Letter acronyms. :-) Now it's just a battle over which group of people can lay claim to which ones.
Sometimes clicking while holding shift gives some more options.
In the picture-viewer you can hold shift while switching between pictures to keep the zoom-factor. In the filter-previews you can hold shift when clicking on the extreme-color-button.

And I found that you can use color-blends quite often where a dialogue asks for a color, for example for vectors, or effect>effect>3D-shadow...
Cool info! I used that lock-zoom factor a lot while in ACDSee (which I rarely use anymore) and missed it from PL32. (Which reminds me, I hope Gerhard remembered my request to be able to open up a photo from a Windows Explorer double-click right into the PL32 viewer, and exit the viewer directly if wanted, then I could do away with ACDSee completely.) Maybe a thread should be started for the most unique or "secret" functions that people have found. But then that would be like giving away all of PL32's secret passageways in the castle. :-) I'll have to remember to test those [shift], [ctrl], and [alt] key-combos more often.

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Post by greenmorpher » Fri 14 Sep 2007 01:11

Blast! I had terrific, contrasty light for some pictures yesterday ... but inadvertently set the camera for multiple exposure with white-balance bracketing instead of exposure bracketing. Now it is all gray and drizzling. We need the rain badly, so I am loving it, but when will I ever get to test the Connect Images (HDR) feature?

Good grief!

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by Michael Roek-Ramirez » Fri 14 Sep 2007 03:56

Hahahaha...... so I suggest, just stay dry inside and take a picture series from inside through the window during daytime with the ceiling lamps switched off! I bet this works


Regards

Michael

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Post by greenmorpher » Fri 14 Sep 2007 09:23

Too easy, Michael. Forecast for tomorrow is "fine and mostly sunnhy -- so I'll hold out until then ...

Cheers, geoff 8-)

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Post by greenmorpher » Sat 15 Sep 2007 13:19

Okay -- the sun came through today so I dashed off to get some high contrast images.

When I used the Connect Images function -- yes, mine suffered from the same fate as yours, Kooyanas -- loss of saturation and possibly some color shift. In fact, using a conventional mask -- which HDR is supposed to improve on -- gave me better results, I feel.

Gerhard, I have sent you the images by YouSendIt so you can see what I mean.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Post by greenmorpher » Wed 19 Sep 2007 10:29

Try looking at this tutorial, Kooyaanis.

Maybe one of our problems is that we aren't covering a wide enough exposure range.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/hdr.shtml

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com